When their mother dies, Frankie and her siblings are sent to an orphanage until their Italian immigrant father can pull himself together and provide for them in “Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All” (Balzer & Bray 2019) by Laura Ruby. Set in late Depression era in Chicago, we see a…

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Because I’m a sucker for a story with a close father/daughter relationship, I really enjoyed “The Story Web,” by Megan Frazer Blakemore. But it is not the only reason. I also love the small-town dynamics, the role ice hockey plays in the story, and the magical realism inherent in the very co…

Librarians are authorities on many things, but we’re best known for our extensive knowledge of books. We know what’s good and what’s not so good, and we’re experts at matching readers with the right book. When it comes to best-of-the-year lists, librarians have you covered.

In 2007, James Bowen was a homeless man, fighting drug addictions and trying to survive living in London when a ginger cat adopted him. Bob, as James called him, turned James’ life around. Now, 12 years later, seven books, a movie and a children’s YouTube show later, James is clean, sober an…

Daniel Matheson, 18 years old, visits Madrid with his oil baron father and Spanish born mother in 1957. Generalissimo Franco, the fascist dictator, has been in power since 1936 and will continue to rule until his death in 1975. Ruta Sepetys, the author of “The Fountains of Silence” (Philomel…

Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean we can stop cooking! The sumptuous foods, drinks and parties are the reason why fitness and self-help books are popular in January. To help you with your holiday planning, I’ve culled a few colorful cookbooks new to the shelves this fall at the …

Not being a huge fan of secret codes and cryptography, I did not open “Can You Crack the Code? A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography,” by Ella Schwartz, (illustrated by Lily Williams), for several months after I got it.

“The Crown” returned to Netflix for its third season on Nov. 17, bringing the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family forward to the mid-1960s — a watershed moment for popular culture in the UK, and a tumultuous era both politically and historically. The popularity of “The Crown” ha…